Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Preaching Question of the Week: Where do you find reminders of God's love?

Dallas Willard writes that we preachers can tell if we are running dry spiritually by the kinds of questions we ask ourselves right after the worship service is over. When our first questions are, "How did it go?" or "What could I have done differently?" there is a good chance that we are running on empty. It's not because spiritually full preachers never preach bad sermons. They can and do. Rather, it's because those who have found their deepest satisfaction in Christ know that how the service or sermon goes depends upon God far more than it depends upon us. We should do our best, yes, but without God our best is never good enough.

Empty preachers are constantly attempting to fill themselves up with the assurance that the service went well - the preacher's equivalent of the schoolboy's good grade. Preachers filled to the brim with God's presence know that "successful" services are a poor substitute for the presence of God, who can be present in the poorest of services.

I admit, this word strikes at one of my most glaring weakness as a preacher. So often I look for satisfaction not in the love of God about which I preach, but rather, in preaching well about the love of God. How silly. How excruciatingly frustrating. My performance never satisfies, nor was it meant to satisfy that part of my soul that was meant for God alone. I remember a line from an old Switchfoot song, a prayer really, "God, let me know that you love me, and let that be enough." I don't pray that prayer nearly enough.

So the question of the week is this - Is this a struggle for you? If so, how do resist the urge to find your worth in preaching instead of in the God of whom you preach? Where in life and ministry do you find the best reminders of God's love?

No comments:

Post a Comment